Remedy Brewing begins production for retail sales in cans

Oct. 23, 2019

Cans of beer from Remedy Brewing Co. should be on store shelves by Thanksgiving.

The local brewery started production in its new plant, running a test beer today and beginning Thursday to brew its first beer for sale.

“Tomorrow will be Queen Bee. It’s going to be the one that we’re really pumped to get out to market first,” said Matt Hastad, who started Remedy’s downtown brewery and taproom in 2017 with friends Tyler Jepperson and Jason Davenport and the help of investors. “If everything goes properly, from grain to can should be about 15 days, and then from there, it’s just getting into the market and getting it launched.”

Dakota Beverage will handle distribution for Remedy’s new canned beer. Hastad said he’ll be able to announce retailers in the coming weeks.

“We’re really excited about this because it allows us to make more beer on a bigger scale a lot more efficiently and a lot more precisely,” he said. “Each time we’re scaling up, we’re getting more efficient and should be able to make better beer.”

Getting to this point has taken the better part of a year. The brewery started retrofitting the production space at 611 N. West Ave., across from Terrace Park, in late winter. The work has taken longer than hoped, with plans to have cans on store shelves in mid to late summer being pushed to September or October and now November.

“It always takes longer than you think it will,” Hastad said.

The grain-handling system from RMS Roller Grinder, which is between Tea and Harrisburg, and the brewing and canning system from American Beer Equipment in Lincoln, Neb., features a lot of automation, “which gives us a much greater level of control,” he said.

“Jason from his brew platform can basically just push a button for the recipe once we have it loaded in, and it’ll measure out the grain,” send it into the mill where it will be crushed and then into the brew kettle. Other grains, such as corn and oats, that don’t need to be processed go through another auger into the brew kettle.

“This (automated system) helps out a lot more with our precision too because this is accurate within a few ounces, which is insane when you’re on this scale.”

The production floor includes a centrifuge from Germany – “a ridiculously expensive piece of equipment” – that will spin some of the varieties of beer to separate the particles by mass, making it less cloudy and extending the shelf life, meaning some of the canned varieties won’t need to be refrigerated before they’re sold and consumed.

Remedy’s brewhouse has five tanks and four fermenters, enough to produce 3,000 barrels of beer annually. If everything went into a 12-ounce can, that would be 1 million cans of beer. Remedy, however, also will distribute its beers in 16-ounce cans and kegs.

“What’s great about this system is that it’s way oversized for where we’re at today with this many fermentation tanks,” Hastad said. “But we designed the system to allow us to put in almost triple what we have today (for tanks) in order to be able to operate with what we have. This system would allow us to do 10 to 20 times what we have in here today.”

That could allow Remedy to do contract brewing in the future too, he said.

“Even if our brand doesn’t necessarily grow to where we’d like it to, this allows us to have enough excess capacity where other startup brands in the area if they want to come in and do a certain batch to put out in the market, we could work to help and hopefully build up the beer community around here.”

Hastad is excited about the canning line too. American Beer Equipment just updated its technology, and Remedy is the second brewery to install the almost fully automated system. It will fill 45 cans a minute and could be modified to do up to 90 cans a minute.

The production system will do four or five brews each month, Hastad said. In addition to Queen Bee, Remedy’s four other core beers will be produced there: Espina, Nonsense, Split-Shift and Hefe Metal. Along with the main beers, Remedy will can some seasonal options. But don’t get your hopes up for Skolberry this year. Hastad expects the Minnesota Vikings-themed beer won’t be canned until next season.

With production of the main beers shifting to the new site, Remedy will focus on “more creative stuff” at the downtown brewery. The freed-up capacity will allow it to produce larger batches of its one-off barrel-aged and sour beer creations and send them out in kegs to bars.

The downtown taproom will continue to be the face of Remedy. Eventually, the brewery will add a taproom, patio and other offerings at the production site.

For now, the focus there is on making beer that someone can easily pick up at a retailer and enjoy at a party or at home watching a football game, Hastad said.

“I’m really excited to see how that takes off and see how Sioux Falls supports us too,” he said. “It’s always interesting and a little scary getting into the market and trying something different, but this market has been incredible about supporting breweries. And anytime someone tries something new, it’s been pretty successful, and we’re hoping we can keep that trend going.”

Peek inside Remedy Brewing’s new production space

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Remedy Brewing begins production for retail sales in cans

Cans of beer from Remedy Brewing Co. should be on store shelves by Thanksgiving.

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